Palestinians are the endogenous people of the Southern Land of Canaan
(Western Part of the Fertile Crescent), the area between the Mediterranean
Sea and the River Jordan.  Key milestones in human civilization occurred in
this Land of Canaan: animal and plant domestication, development of the
alphabet, and development of laws and religions.   

Extracted from a communication of Mazin Qumsiyeh, Professor and (volunteer) Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History, Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
Bethlehem University, Occupied Palestine. 

Key historical periods:

12,000-10,000 BC: Development of Agriculture by Netufian ancestors.
Cognitive revolution made possible as well as high increase in population.

5000-1500 BC: Canaanites develop city-states. Phoenician Canaanites in the
north develop commerce and shipping around the Mediterranean. Philistine
(flst) Canaanites develop desert routes and commerse.  Nebatean Canaanites
build cities like Petra and Bir Saba and ‘Asqalan. Possible beginnings of
the mosaic traditions at 1000 BC which is an amalgam of religious
mythologies derived from Mesopotamia and Egypt (Adam and Eve, Flood,
parting a sea, satan etc.).

1500 BC-500 BC:  Palestine remains a multi-religious amalgam of small
kingdoms and tribal ruling groups but all Canaanites (Jebusites, Amurites,
Nebateans, Hebrews, Phoenicians, Philistines).  The predominant language
was Aramaic with local dialects of Arabic Aramaic, Hebrew Aramaic and
Syriac Aramaic modifying their writing scripts from proto-Aramaic. The name
Palestine (philistine) is referred to in Greek literature of the period.

500 BC-765 AD: Palestine remains an amalgam of small tribes and religions
but now ruled by empires (Assyrian, Persian, Egyptian, Byzantine, Roman).
Christianity develops under the Roman Empire in Palestine and becomes the
predominant religion among the natives by 300 AD (some Judaic, Nazarene,
Samaritans and others remained on the Abrahamic tradition). Around the same
time a new religion based on the Abrahamic religion evolved and became
known as Talmudic Rabbinical “Judaism”.  Remaining adherents of the
Abrahamic faith reject it (e.g. Samaritans).  The Talmud came more than
200-300 years after the New Testament (primarily evolved in Safad in
Palesine and in Mesopotamia).  Technically there are no “Jews” prior to the
2nd to third century AD.  There are Judaic people, Nazarene People,
Samaritans etc (denoting a geography not a religion).

765 AD-1919 AD: Natives largely convert to Islam but large segments of the
population (some 15%) are Christians and 3% are native Jews, Samaritans and
Bahai. All speak and adopt the dominant Arabic language (itself evolved
from Aramaic).

1516:  Palestine becomes a province of the Turkish Ottoman Empire.

1845: British Empire and some sympathetic Jews embark on a program for
Ashkenazi (European) Jewish colonization in Palestine, with the aim of
establishing a Jewish state/homeland (political ideology called Zionism).
First Zionist settlement established 1880. First Zionist Congress in
Switzerland held 1897.

1916: British and French secretly agree to divide the Arab world while
publicly claiming support for independence and self-determination.

1917: French and British Empires issue proclamations in support of Zionism
(Jules/Balfour Declarations).

1919: After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in WWI, Britain occupies
Palestine and lobbies for a “Mandate” from the League of Nations to rule
Palestine and implement Zionist program (contrary to the League’s charter
which supported self-determination). 1920s and early 1930s: Palestine under
rule of Zionist British commissioner Herbert Samuel arms underground
Zionist forces buttressed by British troops.  Non-violent Palestinian
resistance IS suppressed by lethal force. “Inter-religious” violence is
also initiated, claiming the lives of innocents of all religions.

1936-1939: Palestinian uprising against British rule and Zionist
Colonization is crushed violently.  Most leaders of the liberation movement
are killed or deposed.

1947: In 1919 population is 94% Muslim and Christian, 6% Jewish.  By 1947
it is 68% Muslim and Christian and 32% Jewish.  Native Jews are opposed to
Zionism.  UN Partition Resolution 181 pushed for by the US is adopted
recommending partition.  Natives of all religions reject UNGA 181 because
it violates UN Charter’s fundamental premise of self-determination of
peoples and because of the inherent unfairness of giving sovereignty and
rule to Zionists over 55% of the land when Jews represent only 32% of the
population and own less than 7% of the land (most were new immigrants).

1947-1949: UNGA 181 is a recommendation that was never implemented. Zionist
forces, well equipped by the British begin a process of removing non-Jews
in November 1947.  Half the Palestinian refugees were ethnically cleansed
before May 1948 when Britain withdrew its forces and Israel declared its
independence.  Between Winter 1947 and Summer 1949, over 530 Palestinian
towns and villages are completely destroyed and their residents fled and/or
expelled (70% of the native Palestinian Christian and Muslims become
refugees).  To Palestinians, this is Al-Nakba “the catastrophe” of loss of
homes and lands.

1948: December 11, UN passes Resolution 194 reaffirming international law
applicability including that Palestinian refugees must be allowed to return
to their homes and lands and be compensated for losses.

1949: May 11, Israel admitted to UN on its second application after
agreeing to relevant UN resolutions (including 181 and 194). But never
implements those.

1967: “Six Day War”: Israeli forces (IDF) attack and occupy parts of
Palestine they did not occupy before (West Bank including East Jerusalem
and Bethlehem and Gaza, 22% of Palestine).  They also occupy the Syrian
Golan Heights and Egyptian Sinai Peninsula. The international community
unanimously regards these occupations as illegal and demands Israeli
withdrawal (e.g. UN Security Council resolution 242 and 338). Contrary to
International Law (Geneva Conventions), Israel instead embarks on a new
phase of colonial settlement activity including near Aida refugee camp in

1974 Beginning of PLO capitulation via a ten point program that led to
slippery slope of accepting Israel without Israeli politicians accepting
Palestine. Ironically it is also a year that the UNGA voted that Zionism
was a form of racism.

1987-1991: Large scale non-violent uprising (intifada) suppressed brutally
by the Israeli occupation army. 1988 PLO vote on independence and
acceptance of UNGA 181 a

1993-1996: Oslo Process initiated, facilitates further violation of Geneva
Conventions and institutionalization of Israeli control over Palestinians
(“bantustanization” of Palestinian population centers via closures,
checkpoints, Jewish-only bypass roads, de-development of Palestinian

2000-2005: “Al-Aqsa” intifada (14th in 130 years of struggle against
colonialist Zionism). Israeli army respond brutally. Every human rights
organization reporting on this has condemned Israeli army and settlers for
wide scale targeting of Palestinian civilians and other human rights abuses
(also condemned suicide bombings by some Palestinian groups).

2004: The International Court of Justice rules that Israeli
settlements/colonies in the occupied areas (including Jerusalem) are
illegal and that the Wall Israel is building on Palestinian land is also
illegal.  This decision is supported by over 160 countries.

Today: 12.5 million Palestinians worldwide, nearly 2/3rd of whom are
refugees and displaced persons.  Meanwhile the US government sends $5
billion every year to Israel. The US also vetoed 35 UN Security Council
resolutions that attempted to bring peace based on International Law and
Human Rights.  The “Road Map” advocated by the US is 2002 is 2218 words but
lacks these four words: International Law, Human Rights. Israel has over
7000 Palestinian political prisoners (including hundreds of children),
regularly demolishes homes and properties of Palestinians, and has managed
to take over 91.7% of historic Palestine to illegally make it “Jewish
land”. 6.2 million Palestinians are now allowed to use 9.3% of historic
Palestine as open air prisons (people warehouses) in places like Gaza,
Bethlehem, Ramallah, Neqab (Negev) etc.